By Antonio J. Salmerón
Gómez Marchante (Saunier Duval), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Patxi Vila (Lampre-Fondital), Oscar Sevilla (Relax-Gam), Paco Mancebo (Relax-Gam) and Iker Flores (Fuerteventura) are some of the favourites to win the Euskal Bizikleta which kicks off on June 8th in the Basque country of Spain. This UCI category 2.HC race will see a strong field of six ProTour squads: Saunier Duval, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Caisse D'Epargne, Lampre-Fondital, Liquigas, Saunier Duval and Unibet.com along with the Continental Professional Spanish teams.
A total of 437.6 kilometres of racing will be packed into only three stages. The first stage runs from Eibar to Tolosa, and include four category three climbs and one category one mountain over the 172.2 kilometre parcours. The second day will be divided in two partial stages: the first will run from Abadiño to Tolosa over 92 kilometres, and the second will be a time trial of 20.5 kilometres in Abadiño.
The final stage will be the most challenging, and over the 152 kilometres course between Iurreta and Eibar, the riders will face two category one climbs plus one category two and three category three hills before ascending to the finish line atop the category one, 586 metre high Arrate climb.